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EUCROSS - Final Report

The project's Final Report has been released and will be presented in Brussels Wednesdy 25 9:30 for the ECUROSS Final Conference hosted by the Bibliothèque Royale de Belgique, Boulevard de l'Empereur 4.
See program and registration at: http://www.ecas-citizens.eu/content/view/531/341/

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EUCROSS final conference - Wednesday June 25 in Brussels

EUCROSS results will be presented Wednesday 25 at 9:30 in the final project’s conference. 

The conference, organized in collaboration with ECAS - European Citizen Action Service, is hosted by the Bibliothèque Royale de Belgique, Boulevard de l'Empereur 4.

See program and register at: http://www.ecas-citizens.eu/content/view/531/341/

EUCROSS Second Policy Brief

The second EUCROSS Policy Brief has been released and investigates the relationship between cross-border practices and political participation.

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EUCROSS Working Paper: "Romanians’ Social Transnationalism in the Making"

Transnational migration fields emerged in social research as a result of a tentative criticism of methodological nationalism with its focus on the national space as a homogeneous container of all the forms of social life. The new approach of methodological transnationalism is targeted to locate some sociocultural phenomena and processes in the framework of interactions among several societies. Cross-border practices, links and identities in this new approach put in relation not only nation-states but non-state actors that are structured at group, community and regional level.

The three chapters of the working paper address the emerging social transnationalism (Mau, 2012) of Romanians by focusing on transnational fields, perceptions of the first trips abroad and the habitus of emigrants in relation with return intentions. Temporary or indefinite time emigration of Romanians abroad for work started, mainly, during the economic recession that hit Romania in 1997-1999. In spite of its young age, it largely contributed to the structuring of a social transnationalism by fields, actors and layers. EUCROSS and non-EUCROSS data at individual or aggregated level, of quantitative and qualitative nature are put to work for capturing the complexity of the Romanian transnationalism in the making.

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EUCROSS Working Paper 'Cross-Border Activities and Transnational Identification of Turkish Migrants in Europe’

The paper reports preliminary results on the interplay of cross-border practices and transnational identifications for Turkish migrants living in Denmark, Germany, Italy, Romania and the United Kingdom surveyed in the FP7 EUCROSS project. Quantitative data were collected by telephone and face-to-face surveys with 250 Turkish migrants in each of the five countries of residence. In addition, qualitative interviews were conducted with 10 Turkish migrants each.

Remarkable differences between these migrant groups in the surveyed countries have been found both with respect to background variables, such as duration of sojourn, education and migration motives, and cross-border activities, such as travel experiences, friendship networks and communication abroad. The analysis shows that the experience of these cross-border activities did not influence the respondents’ stance towards supra national entities, such as the European Union or the World as such. This might be due to the fact that the migrants surveyed here did not differ in the most important mobility experience: the migration to another country. The assumption that freedom of mobility within Europe is unlikely to be one of the main driving forces of identification with Europe for migrants from Turkey is further stressed by the fact, that those respondents who live outside the Schengen zone (i.e., in the United Kingdom and Romania) are among those who identified most strongly with Europe. Moreover, most of the interviewed Turkish nationals were more likely to state a pronounced cosmopolitan stance than a strong identification with Europe. However, this might not come as an surprise, as the full rights associated with European citizenship have not yet been awarded to Turkish nationals in EU member states.

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EUCROSS Second press release

First results from the EUCROSS survey are summarized in the press release on project's activities.

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EUCROSS First Policy Brief

The first Policy Brief from the project has been released summarizing the preliminary results from the EUCROSS Surve in the perspective of their policy implications.

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EUCROSS Working Paper: "Europeanisation and Globalisation"

Published the paper with preliminary results from the EUCROSS survey. The paper presents the results of two hierarchical logistic regressions assessing the extent to which cross-border practices (mobility and consumption practices) can be associated with both European and global identities (feeling European - feeling citizen of the world). We show that transnational consumption practices are crucially associated with both European and global identities, and indeed are more important than socio-demographic variables and personal experiences of mobility. The systematic comparison of the results of both regressions helps us disentangle processes of cosmopolitisation and europeanisation of daily lives in the context of globalisation. Are the most mobile the most European? Or is it only some specific practices that trigger a higher affinity with the idea of Europe? Can cross-border practices be related to a greater cosmopolitan attitude defined as openness to diversity? We show that specific cross-border practices related to Europe (e.g. purchase in the EU – and not outside the EU, preferences for European cuisines, familiarity with specifically European countries) are associated with a stronger European identity. Other practices are associated with a global identity, such as listening to global music, indicating a certain degree of differentiation between the two processes. 

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EUCROSS Working Paper: "Navigating the European Space: Physical and Virtual Forms of Cross-Border Mobility among EU Citizens"

A new working paper has been delivered elaborating the data from the EUCROSS survey conducted in the research countries: Italy, Germany, Denmark, Spain, UK and Romania. Drawing on earlier works in the EUCROSS series, this working paper proposes a comprehensive picture of physical and virtual mobility practices. Physical mobilities are characterised with regards to the time factor, thus distinguishing between high and low permanence practices (or ‘migrationlike’ and ‘tourism-like’ mobilities). Virtual mobilities may have personal or impersonal character  (taking a ‘facebook-like’ or an ‘eBay-like’ form). A short discussion of each mobility type is additionally described with existing sources (mainly from Eurostat). This range of cross-border practices is then mapped within the European countries in which the EUCROSS survey was carried out (Germany, the UK, Denmark, Italy, Spain and Romania). Quite against conventional wisdom which suggests that EU citizens make modest use of their free movement rights and are rather immobile, we found that one in six Europeans of the EUCROSS sample has spent at least three months in another EU country in their lifetime. Furthermore, 51 per cent have visited another EU member state, even if for a short vacation, in the last two years. Europeans cross borders in a nonphysical sense as well (almost three quarters of our sample), when they connect online or on the phone with significant others who migrated or with friends they met during their physical trips. Finally, Europeans increasingly engage in cross-border transactions (almost one third of EUCROSS sample), shopping online but also transferring money abroad. All these practices are socially structured, their likelihood depending significantly on education, socioeconomic status, gender and age in differing degrees, as multivariate analyses detail. National contexts matter as well. Danes are most mobile when it comes to low permanence physical mobility and impersonal virtual moves. In turn, Britons and Romanians – possibly with different purposes – have definitely higher odds of having migrated, even in the wider sense of migration as ‘long-permanence mobility’ that we used. This reverberates on being more strongly networked with other persons abroad than any other nationality examined.

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EUCROSS Working Paper: "Measuring Transnational Behaviours and Identities"

While the first EUCROSS working paper (Favell et al. 2011) laid down the theoretical groundwork of our project in a ‘State of the Art Report’ (SoA) and the second one (Hanquinet and Savage 2011) discussed issues around the operationalisation of the three key concepts – European identity, cosmopolitanism and cross-border practices, the following paper will elaborate on measurement instruments which have ultimately been chosen and, thus, form the core of the EUCROSS questionnaire. Hence, as the title suggests, the paper will describe how we measure ‘transnational’ behaviours and identities. In particular, it will elaborate in detail on instruments developed to capture those phenomena, which the SoA referred to as ‘cross-border practices’, and their influence on individual identification with Europe or a cosmopolitan stance.

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EUCROSS survey launched

With the completion of the questionnaire design conducted by GESIS in collaboration with all the research teams, the EUCROSS survey has been launched.

Until September 2012 a mass telephone survey on a random sample of more than 8,000 EU residents will be carried out in the project countries (Germany, Italy, Spain, UK, Denmark and Romania). In addition to the national samples, two groups of immigrants, Romanians and Turks, will be interviewed in the project countries.

The survey is conducted by SUZ Sozialwissenschaftliches Umfragezentrum (http://www.suz-umfragen.de) a specialized center based in Duisburg (Germany) with the support of different national teams of interviewers.

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EUCROSS Working Paper: "From Theoretical to Policy Issues"

This brief paper locates the EUCROSS project within the field of studies on European identity, sharpens its theoretical underpinnings and outlines policy scenarios in line with its general hypotheses.

In the broad literature on European identity, a basic distinction between speculative research on civilisational identities and empirical social science research on collective identifications must be drawn. Focusing on the latter, to which the EUCROSS project belongs, it is argued that there are two distinct logics underlying existing inquiries. These are grounded in models of collective identity formation that stress either cultural messages inscribed in discursive processes or practices situated in socio-spatial relations. They are called respectively, the ‘culturalist’ and the ‘structuralist’ models of identification. The first one considers identity as a direct outcome of the exposure to content-specific messages; the second, as an emerging property of socio-spatial interactions that are content-free of identity references.

The EUCROSS project adopts and advances the second and less developed research tradition which studies the effects of transnational practices on European identification. This paper discusses the potential of this approach from a policy-oriented perspective. In this last respect, it is held that the culturalist model encourages the development of narratives ‘selling’ the Union to its citizens, while the structuralist model suggests a content-neutral emphasis on the facilitation of cross-border practices.

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Second Consortium Workshop in York - 15-16 December

Thanks to the kind hospitality of the British team, EUCROSS research staff met in York - 15-16 December to finalize the work on the EUCROSS questionnaire - the main tool in the project to investigate the relationship between the manifold activities of EU residents (nationals, mobile EU citizens, and third-country nationals) across the borders of nation states and their collective identities.

The meeting has represented a turning point between a first stage of more theory-oriented activities and the second stage of field research: evidences and results from the documents already produced in the project (The State of the Art Report and the Operationalisation Document) have been, in fact, considered and confronted with a draft version of the EUCROSS questionnaire proposed by the GESIS team, responsible for the Workpackages 4 and 5 (EUCROSS survey design and EUCROSS survey implementation).

The EUCROSS survey will be carried out in the six project's countries (Denmark, Germany, Italy, Romania, Spain, and the United Kingdom) with CATI-based telephone interviews. Interviews will address nationals, EU citizens living abroad (Romanians) and third-country nationals (Turks) drawing the following samples:

- Nationals: 1000 cases sampled in all 6 countries;
- EU citizens abroad (Romanians): 250 cases sampled in 5 countries (UK, DE, DK, IT, ES);
- Third-country nationals (Turks): 250 cases sampled in 5 countries (UK, DE, DK, IT, RO).

Results and data from the EUCROSS survey will be also analyzed in the light of the EUMEAN survey foreseen in the project: a set of 160  in-depth interviews on subsample of immigrants already interviewed in the EUCROSS survey.

EUCROSS State of the Art Report

The State of the Art reports illustrates the research questions, the main underlying concepts and the relevant literature of the EUCROSS project – an interdisciplinary synthesis of the state of the art regarding ‘Europeanisation’, ‘European identity’, ‘cross-border practices’ and ‘cosmopolitanism’ as well as a comprehensive bibliography.

Overall, we find that seldom are these concepts treated altogether specifying the link between spatially and culturally situated behaviours on the one hand and collective identifications and value orientations on the other. Moreover, few studies examine socio-cultural Europeanisation and super-national identifications comparatively, and none includes simultaneously native and immigrant populations, who in fact may attest of different modalities in which the behaviour-identity link can take place.

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Draft version of the EUCROSS website published on-line

Following the discussions and the decisions of the EUCROSS kick-off meeting held at the end of April 2011 in Aarhus a draft version of the project’s website has been published.

The website consists in two different areas:

- a public area where the main elements of the project are outlined (objectives and  research strategy, partners profiles, weblinks related to the research issues, contacts). This area also provides a news section where information on the project’s issues  is available.

- a reserved area where researchers of the partners institutions can develop the discussion on the project’s activities, exchange and making available to the group information and documents.

Held in Aarhus the EUCROSS kick-off meeting - 29th and 30th of April 2011

Aarhus University hosted the kick-off meeting of the EUCROSS project the 29th and 30th of April 2011 in two beautiful days of full Danish spring.

The meeting has been anticipated by the panel “Sociology of EUrope: A Research Agenda” organized by GLOREA (Centre for Global and Regional Ethnographies at Aarhus University) in the morning of the 29th of April, where general concepts and ideas have been introduced and discussed with an attentive and interested audience. The debate in the morning panel, chaired by the Adrian Favell, outlined the difficulties in characterizing the scope and the developments in the “Sociology of Europe” considering different theoretical and methodological approaches and manifold definitions of ‘Europe’.

Representatives of the partners institutions participated at the meeting

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